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COMMISSION ACTIONS DECEMBER 2009

The following are the agenda items from the Commission's regular meeting held December 15, 2009 at Commission headquarters.  The Commission's actions are in bold.


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APPROVAL OF AGENDA.  APPROVED 9-0, WITH ALL COMMISSIONERS PRESENT, AFTER ITEM #2B WAS PULLED DUE TO RECEIPT OF A PROTEST. 
[Audio Agenda]

1.  MINUTES of previous meeting.  APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY AS CIRCULATED.
[Audio Item 1]

2.  PERMITS (Projects over $50,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval).  THESE FOUR SO-CALLED PAGE 2 ITEMS, DELINEATED IN DETAIL BELOW, WERE APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY, AS RECOMMENDED BY STAFF. 
[Audio Items 2]

3.  CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THIS SO-CALLED PAGE 3 ITEM, DELINEATED IN DETAIL BELOW, FOR MR. MARESH'S AFTER-THE-FACT APPLICATION (#09-1004) WITH A CIVIL CHARGE AND TRIPLE PERMIT FEES RECOMMENDED BY STAFF IN LIEU OF ANY FURTHER ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS AS PERMITTED BY THE CODE OF VIRGINIA.
[Audio Item 3-4]


4.  CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH OR BRIEFING BY COUNSEL:  NOT REQUIRED.

5.  RON EDWARDS, #09-0990.  Commission reconsideration of a request for after-the-fact authorization to retain a 115-foot replacement pier which was widened from three (3) feet to five (5) feet and an adjacent, new, 30-foot long by 6-foot wide open-pile commercial pier at his restaurant and marina facility at the confluence of Greenvale Creek and the Rappahannock River in Lancaster County.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED MR. EDWARDS AFTER-THE-FACT REQUEST CONDITIONED ON HIS AGREEMENT TO REMIT A $1,800 CIVIL CHARGE WITHIN NINETY DAYS (NO LATER THAN MARCH 15, 2010). 
[Audio Item 5]

6.  MARK CROSSLAND, #09-0548, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain a 448-square foot, flat-roofed boathouse, an 18-foot by 26-foot L-head and a 41-foot by 15-foot deck (1,085 square feet of deck) adjacent to his property at 18336 Possum Point Road, situated along Quantico Creek in Prince William County. Continued from the September 22 and November 24, 2009, Commission meetings.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY DENIED MR. CROSSLAND'S REQUEST TO RETAIN THE 448 SQUARE FOOT, FLAT ROOFED, OPEN-SIDED BOATHOUSE, AND DIRECTED ITS COMPLETE REMOVAL WITHIN 90 DAYS.  THE COMMISSION AGREED, HOWEVER, TO ALLOW MR. CROSSLAND TO RETAIN THE 9'5" X 15' ADDITIONAL PLATFORM (141.25 SQUARE FEET) CONDITIONED ON MR. CROSSLAND'S AGREEMENT TO REMIT A CIVIL CHARGE OF $1,800 AND PAY TRIPLE PERMIT FEES OF $75.  THE COMMISSION ALSO AGREED TO ALLOW CONSTRUCTION OF A 30-FOOT BY 15-FOOT OPEN-SIDED A-ROOF BOATHOUSE, AS MR. CROSSLAND HAD ORIGINALLY PROPOSED. 
[Audio Item 6]

7.  ROBERT LEHMAN, #09-0937, requests authorization to construct a 646-square foot open-sided boathouse at the channelward end of a proposed private open-pile pier at property situated along Boathouse Creek in York County.  The project is protested by an adjacent property owner.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE PROJECT, AS RECOMMENDED BY STAFF. 
[Audio Item 7]

8.  REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING:  To amend the initial inventory of ungranted shores of the sea, marsh and meadowlands in order to establish a metes and bounds boundary between the property of Commonwealth and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge near Wise Point in lower Northampton County.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING AT THE JAN. 26, 2010 MEETING. 
[Audio Item 8]

9.  PUBLIC COMMENTS:  FISHERIES CHIEF JACK TRAVELSTEAD BRIEFED THE COMMISSION ON A SUCCESSFUL HAND-TONG, SPECIAL PERMIT OYSTER SEASON IN NOMINI CREEK IN WESTMORELAND COUNTY, WHICH IS YIELDING MANY LARGE OYSTERS AND A WEALTH OF SCIENTIFIC DATA.  THE CREEK WAS SEEDED SEVERAL YEARS AGO IN AN AGENCY EXPERIMENT TO DETERMINE GROW-OUT RATES AND A COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS OF THE SEEDING COST COMPARED TO THE OVERALL HARVEST VALUE.  WHEN THE TONGERS ARE DONE IN THE SMALL CREEK, HAND-SCRAPES WILL BE PERMITTED TO BE USED FOR A DAY OR TWO TO HARVEST THE REMAINING MARKET-SIZE OYSTERS BEFORE COWNOSE RAYS EAT THEM ALL.
[Audio Item 9]

10. Public Hearing: Proposed amendments to Regulation 4VAC20-900-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Horseshoe Crabs", to reduce the 2010 commercial harvest quota and enhance quota management and harvest control measures.  THE 2010 HORSESHOE CRAB HARVEST QUOTA WILL BE REDUCED BY 10 PERCENT BECAUSE COMMERCIAL HARVESTERS EXCEEDED THEIR QUOTA FOR THE FIRST TIME IN SEVERAL YEARS.  A SIGNIFICANT PERCENTAGE OF THE HARVESTERS FAILED TO FILE THEIR DAILY HARVEST REPORTS ACCURATELY OR TIMELY AND, AS A RESULT, THE FISHERY WAS NOT CLOSED UNTIL AFTER THE HARVEST QUOTAS WERE SURPASSED.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 8-0, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER RICK ROBINS RECUSING HIMSELF FROM DELIBERATIONS AND THE VOTE, TO REDUCE THE TRIP LIMITS IN THE HORSESHOE CRAB FISHERY WHEN HARVESTERS REACH 50 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL ANNUAL QUOTA, INSTEAD OF THE CURRENT 85 PERCENT THRESHOLD.  ALSO, SOME COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN WILL BE REQUIRED TO OBTAIN BYCATCH PERMITS IF THEY INTEND TO KEEP HORSESHOE CRABS, AND SEAFOOD BUYERS WILL HAVE TO REPORT HOW MANY CRABS THEY BUY DAILY WHEN THE ANNUAL HARVEST REACHES 85 PERCENT OF THE ANNUAL QUOTA.
[Audio Item 10]

11. Public Hearing: Proposed amendments to Regulations 4VAC20-610-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Commercial Fishing and Mandatory Reporting", and 4VAC20-670-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Recreational Gear Licenses".  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 TO ENACT A SLIDING SCALE OF PENALTIES FOR COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN WHO FAIL TO FILE THEIR MANDATORY CATCH REPORTS, AS REQUIRED.  SEVERAL FISHERIES ISSUES OVER THE PAST YEAR HAVE HIGHLIGHTED A PROBLEM WITH LACK OF TIMELY AND THOROUGH REPORTING BY SOME COMMERCIAL WATERMEN.  AS A RESULT, AN AUTOMATED NOTIFICATION SYSTEM WILL BE ACTIVATED IN THE SPRING TO ALERT THEM IF THEY ARE LATE WITH THEIR REPORTS, AND WILL ISSUE SEVERAL WARNINGS OVER THREE MONTHS THAT REPORTS ARE OVERDUE.  IF THE REPORTS ARE NOT FILED, VIOLATORS WILL BE BROUGHT BEFORE THE COMMISSION FOR POTENTIAL PENALTIES RANGING FROM A MANDATORY YEAR OF PROBATION TO A MINIMUM ONE-YEAR LICENSE SUSPENSION FOR EGREGIOUS VIOLATIONS.  IN ADDITION, THE MEASURE MANDATES THE IDENTIFICATION OF AGENTS AND CLARIFIES HOW TO REPORT THE USE OF HELPERS.
[Audio Item 11]

12. Public Hearing: Proposed amendments to Regulation 4VAC20-20-10 et seq., "Pertaining to the Licensing of Fixed Fishing Devices", to establish new requirements to maintain priority rights to the pound net location.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 8-0, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER RICK ROBINS NOT PRESENT FOR THE VOTE, TO REQUIRE POUND NET LICENSE HOLDERS TO FISH THEIR POUND NETS AT LEAST ONCE EVERY TWO CALENDAR YEARS OR THE LICENSES WILL BE FORFEITED AND REISSUED THROUGH A LOTTERY.  CURRENT POUND NET HOLDERS WHO HAVE NOT SET AND FISHED THEIR POUND NETS IN 2009 WILL HAVE UNTIL THE END OF 2010 TO DO SO.
[Audio Item 12]

13.  Public Hearing:  Proposed amendments to Regulation 4VAC20-490-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Sharks", to prohibit the transfer of a Spiny Dogfish limited Entry Permit.  THE COMMISSION VOTED 9-0 TO PROHIBIT THE TRANSFER OF SPINY DOGFISH LIMITED ENTRY PERMITS.
[Audio Item 13]

14.  REPEAT OFFENDERS:  THREE WATERMEN WERE PUT ON PROBATION FOR A YEAR AFTER BEING CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF UNCULLED OYSTERS IN MOBJACK BAY.  THE COMMISSION ALSO DIRECTED THE VIRGINIA MARINE POLICE TO RETURN PERMITS AND FISHING GEAR THAT WERE CONFISCATED PENDING A COMMISSION HEARING, AS REQUIRED BY COMMERCIAL FISHING REGULATIONS.
[Audio Item 14]

THE FOLLOWING SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEMS WERE APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY, EXCEPT FOR 2B, WHICH WAS PULLED FROM CONSIDERATION AT THIS MONTH'S MEETING:

PAGE 2 ITEMS (Projects over $50,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval).

2A. CITY VIEW TWO, LLC, ET AL, #07-0645, requests a permit modification to install a 24 foot wide by 300 foot long temporary work trestle in Thalia Creek to aid in the construction of the new Constitution Drive roadway connection and bridge in Virginia Beach. The trestle will be installed using 24 inch diameter hollow piles, maintain a minimum vertical clearance of three (3) feet above mean high water, and may remain in Thalia Creek a maximum of one year.

2B. JAMES RIVER ASSOCIATION, #09-1316, requests authorization to construct a 70 foot wide by 300 foot long by 2-foot high, Atlantic Sturgeon spawning reef, using rip rap granite stone. The reef is to be situated within the James River at the Turkey Island Cutoff, near the Presquile National Wildlife Refuge in Chesterfield County.  The applicant has also requested authorization to install one floating buoy at the midpoint of the proposed reef to accommodate hydrosonic monitoring equipment. No royalty is recommended given the nature of the project.  PULLED FROM CONSIDERATION.

2C. LOUDOUN WATER, #09-1578, requests authorization to install 75 linear feet of 16 inch re use water main beneath Broad Run near the Broad Run Water Reclamation Facility in Loudoun County. Staff recommends a royalty in the amount of $225.00 for the encroachment under State owned submerged land at a rate of $3.00 per linear foot.

2D. CITY OF PORTSMOUTH, #09-1412, requests authorization to replace the existing culverts beneath Johnson Avenue with a 64-foot long, 8-foot wide, by 4-foot high box culvert with associated wing walls and riprap scour aprons; and to dredge approximately 21.3 cubic yards of subaqueous material from the upstream (south) side of Johnson Avenue to remove accumulated sediment to a maximum depth of -1.6 feet at mean low water to restore flow along an unnamed tributary to the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River in the City of Portsmouth.

2E. MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, #06-0753, requests reactivation and a one-year extension of their permit to construct a new 35-foot wide steel plate girder bridge with concrete deck, crossing approximately 140 linear feet of Chopawamsic Creek; reinstall by directional bore method water, sanitary, electrical, and communication utility lines and conduits; and install and backfill 35 linear feet of sheet-pile retaining wall/bulkhead around the upstream corner of the north bridge abutment and 48 linear feet of riprap bank stabilization along the south bridge abutment's embankment, adjacent to the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Stafford County.  The permit expired on October 31, 2009.  No additional work is proposed and the Permittee agrees to abide by all of the permit conditions set forth in the original permit document.

THE FOLLOWING SO-CALLED PAGE THREE CONSENT ITEM WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY:

PAGE 3 ITEMS Consent Agenda Items.

3A. CHARLES MARESH, #09-1004, requests after the fact authorization to retain a gravel boat ramp which extends 10 feet channelward of mean low water into Tabbs Creek at his property at 728 Scott Road in Lancaster County.  Mr. Maresh proposes to reduce the width of the ramp from 15 feet to 10 feet, has accepted full responsibility for the violation, and has agreed to the payment of a $600.00 civil charge and triple permit fees of $75.00 in lieu of further enforcement action.




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